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The assurance of product quality and safety is one of the most important social responsibilities that we must take on. As we expand our overseas business, we will inevitably face a growing challenge to meet our customers' increasing expectations on product quality and safety. Our expanded production capabilities outside of Japan, expanded outsourcing activities globally, and increased necessity of using recycled materials have added to the complexities of ensuring we continue to meet the high levels of product quality and safety. Regardless of these challenges, we will always strive to improve on our high-level standards for all our customers worldwide.
We base our product quality and safety initiatives on three requirements: 1) to not merely observe international safety standards and official safety laws and regulation but to also make proper use of past experience; 2) to ensure safety not only during normal use, but also during reasonably foreseeable misuse; and 3) to ensure safety throughout the product's lifetime, and that even if the product does break, it never does so in an unsafe manner. We measure our success in terms of "quality loss," which describes financial losses related to claims and quality violations, both during production and once the product is in the marketplace. Overall, our aim is to completely eliminate all corporate announcements on product defects.
The ways in which we are bolstering our capabilities to ensure product quality and safety can be summarized in three areas: 1) training; 2) awareness-raising; and 3) developing infrastructure.
Since April 2010, our Corporate Engineering Quality Administration Division and Human Resources Development Company have been conducting product safety design trainings for overseas product design employees, covering the basic factors of product safety and providing thorough training of our Panasonic Corporation Safety Standards (PCSS), which set forth basic requirements, design standards, and other standards required to ensure the safety of all products. These training courses are generally held twice per month at our overseas sites, and are presented in the local language to ensure the information is properly imparted.
As we increase our outsourcing of materials from suppliers overseas, our product quality risks will also increase- we must therefore partner with suppliers to increase their level of quality awareness and quality control management. One of the ways in which we achieve this is through our Technical Center of SANYO Energy (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Energy Company of Panasonic Group, which hosts regular quality meetings for its suppliers of connectors in eastern China to establish quality standards, create plans for improvements, and report on results achieved. These meetings help ensure a supply of high-quality materials from any of our suppliers.
Product safety design training held in Singapore
We have established satellite offices in Shanghai, China, and Singapore to support our local operations on product safety and quality within our Asia region. The mission of these satellite offices is to 1) support the problem-solving of local companies' product design and manufacturing, 2) support local product inspections, and 3) analyze market-based quality information. Panasonic AVC Networks Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, for instance, has already taken advantage of this by requiring all of its engineers to take PCSS training at one of our satellite quality offices during their first year with the company.
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